Hello from the Gt Grandson of Thomas Mayzes (Stoker)


Ray Whitfield

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Apr 12, 2012
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I am the great grandson of Thomas Mayzes (stoker). This is not the only link to Titanic in my family as Albert Pearcy (3rd class pantryman) was my mothers godfather.

While we know a fair bit about Albert Pearcy , T.J. Mayzes is a bit of a Mystery. The only artefact that I know of that has survived is is pay book and I have never seen it.

The inherited family story is that he escaped on some sort of raft. However I have never heard or seen any other reference to this , until I found the lost depositions page A Holy Grail – The Missing Depositions by Senan Molony :: Titanic Research

Can any of the experts shed any light on the possibility that some crew managed to build some sort raft to escape ?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hallo, Ray. As you probably know, Thomas Mayzes is generally thought to have left the Titanic in a lifeboat, and boat 3 is often mentioned as several stokers jumped into it just before it was lowered. But there were stokers in a number of other boats and not all have been identified so we can't be certain of this.

There might well have been attempts to assemble makeshift rafts, and certainly there were men who survived initially by clinging to pieces of wooden wreckage or furnishings. But their ultimate survival depended on being pulled into a lifeboat and nobody in the boats mentioned an encounter with a raft carrying survivors. You might want to consider the overturned collapsible lifeboat B, which was sometimes referred to as a 'raft'. There were stokers among those who survived by swimming to this boat and remaining precariously balanced on the hull, and not all of these men have been identified.

It must always be born in mind that many of the adult male survivors were keen to establish an honourable reason for their survival in a situation where many women and children died. So it's not uncommon for men who definitely left the ship in a lifeboat to later claim that they were pulled into the boat only after spending time in the water. This was especially true of the surviving passengers, but it might be the case here. In my view, if your ancestor was one of the stokers who saved his life by hopping into boat 3 then he acted most sensibly and deprived nobody of their chance of survival - the boat was lowered half empty!
 

Ray Whitfield

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Near Southampton , england
Thanks Bob.

I have memories from my childhood of my grandmother saying he had been In the water or on something in the water until he was taken on a lifeboat. Is it known what lifeboats did actually pull people from the water ? There was also a lot of talk of what they called life rafts , but I am fairly certain they meant the collapseables.

Part of The problem is that I don't know what has been passed down from T. Mayzes or Albert Pearcy. (After T. Mayzes Death, Albert Pearcy lived with his widow , so he was also part of the family).
 

Bob Godfrey

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Apart from a couple of people of known identity who were pulled into boats after jumping right next to them, those rescued from the water were taken aboard boats 4 and 14 and their identity also is known in most cases. But the story passed down in your family, if taken at face value, best fits Collapsible B. Those involved with that boat would all have been first in the water, then standing on something in the water, then taken into a lifeboat.
 

Ray Whitfield

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Near Southampton , england
Thanks - That seems to fit in nicely with the stories that have been passed down the family..

I wonder how he ends up being listed as possibly being in boat 3 - did boat 3 pick up some of those from Collapsible B.?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Boat 3 picked up nobody from the water, but it's known that several stokers jumped in just before it was lowered. Your ancestor might have been among them, but equally he might have been in another boat or in the water. Unless there's something on record that particularly favours boat 3. Can't say I know what that might be, but I don't think anybody has placed him there with certainty.
 

Ray Whitfield

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I must admit that although I have been hearing the family version for years, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that he had embellished his story to fit in with the mood at the time. (or had been advised to do so) We seem to have mystery in the family!
Another thing that I find interesting is that he is recorded as getting £7. 16s 6d in expenses for attending the Enquiry but was not called. What were the expenses for ? Did he have to be available for the entire Enquiry , or would he have been called on a particular day ? It seem a lot considering he was on £6 a month at the time.
 

jmtye

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Apr 15, 2012
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Thomas Mayzes was a relative of my mother-in-law. I believe he was her mother's uncle. Her mother's name was Ivy Farrell. We know that he died a few years after the sinking, but don't know when or how he died. Any details? We live in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Would love to connect with a relative who knows the story.
 

Randy Mayzes

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Hello , I'm Randy Mayzes. My Great Grandfather (Samuel James) was Thomas' older brother. Though not nearly as well connected to the history as you (Ray Whitfield), I nevertheless was enthralled by the family connection to the Titanic and spent a couple of months In High school (1978) attempting to validate my family's part in this bit of History. I sent away to several libraries and to the White Star and Cunard shipping lines... Most of my inquiries were met with indifference and little to no help at all. Amazing the way technology has opened a vast amount of information to the average interested person these days. My Father Frank Albert Mayzes, my Grandfather George Mayzes. I did get an A on my history final for "substantiating" my connection to the disaster. We Mayzes' seem to be very widespread and great in numbers, whereas when I was a youngster I thought that we must be a very rare family indeed. I have NO information to add to your search for answers on this forum, yet felt I ought to say hello. One family member to another.
 

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